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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

DePo Was Too Old
2006-01-05 10:13
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodgers' AA team in Jacksonville has a new 29-year-old general manager in Kirk Goodman, who takes the controls upon Peter Bragan, Jr.'s promotion to team president. The Business Journal of Jacksonville has the story, noting that Goodman first came to Jacksonville 27.5 percent of his life ago as director of marketing, left, then returned in 2002 as assistant GM.

Almost exactly one year ago, Emily Christy became general manager of the A-ball Vero Beach Dodgers. Christy is also 29.

* * *

In case you've missed it, Mike's Baseball Rants is hosting a great series on the Hall of Fame ballot:

Part I Part II Part III

* * *

Geoff Baker of the Toronto Star delves deep into Jason Phillips career at a crossroads:

A job-hungry Phillips sat around for a while before contacting Doug Davis, his former minor league manager with the Mets who now works as the Double A field boss for the Jays. Phillips asked Davis for the phone number of Jays manager John Gibbons, who he'd also worked under and gotten to know well in New York's system. ...

Phillips grew up in an impoverished area south of San Diego, near the Mexican border, and often lacked the money to join the travelling squads of elite baseball teams from the area. He wasn't drafted while playing at El Capitan High School and had to continue his baseball career at San Diego State before the Mets finally picked him in the — get this — 24th round in 1997.

"I should never have made it to the big leagues," Phillips said.

Phillips can barely see without his thick, black-rimmed glasses. He feels uncomfortable wearing contact lenses and has reservations about laser surgery, so he dons the specs and takes a good-natured outlook to the teammates referring to him as "Rick Vaughn" and "Wild Thing" — the Charlie Sheen relief pitcher character from the Major League series of Hollywood movies.

Sources in Los Angeles say Phillips is also so slow that he makes former Jays catchers Darrin Fletcher and Ken Huckaby look like the anchors on a 4X100 relay team. ...

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-05 11:42:52
1.   Bob Timmermann
Maybe there was something to Phillips' statement that he was just trying to feed his family.
2006-01-05 11:45:12
2.   alex 7
curious, what exactly does a minor-league general manager do? I'm only familiar with the professional-level job description, but assume minor league GMs have no control over coaches or players unless it's approved by the big club.
2006-01-05 11:52:15
3.   Jon Weisman
2 - Any time I publish something about minor league GMs, someone always asks that question. I believe they have a lot of the same day-to-day team management duties without making, you know, big trades or callups. And they, along with coaches, must make a lot of reports to the big club. And so on. Remember, staffs are much smaller down there.
2006-01-05 12:06:06
4.   LAT
"I should never have made it to the big leagues," Phillips said.

At lease Jason and I agree on one thing.

2006-01-05 12:25:26
5.   Izzy
I had to click and read the entire article, and it was worth the read. It's a good story. He has a great attitude and I hope he makes us eat our words.
2006-01-05 12:34:54
6.   LAT
I read it too. Go luck to him in TO, but I am glad he is gone. One interesting point is that it appears he had no interest in playing first base. That mistaken decision must have been JT's and/or Depo's.
2006-01-05 12:42:19
7.   Eric L
2 I worked for a minor league team for a short time (and it was just one team, etc) in concessions.

I'm not exactly sure what the GMs do, but they seem to have to do more business side of things than a big league GM would have to do. Just from what I saw, I would liken a minor league GM more to what a team president is in baseball.

They have some baseball responsbilities but the actual GM stuff for them is more like running the club on a day to day basis (ie the head of ticket sales reports to them, the head of the ballpark operations reports to them, etc).

Again, this is just from my short experience but I guarantee to that a big league GM isn't going to yell at some concession kids because there aren't onions out at the condiment table.

2006-01-05 12:46:07
8.   Jacob L
I like Jason Phillips. When he was here last year, I thought he was a guy who played hard and had a good attitude. Or maybe he just liked talking to Carolyn Hughes (though, obviously, not as much as Lowe did).

Jason Phillips, however, basically has a skill set that screams backup catcher. The fact that somebody thought he was either a starting catcher much less a starting first baseman is not his fault. I wish him well. In fact, I'd rather we had kept him as a backup catcher as opposed to signing Alomar.

2006-01-05 12:46:12
9.   Winthrop
There has been some antipathy toward Phillips expressed on this site in the last month. I think much of that stems from his mis-use by Jim Tracy last year. Phillips is an under-average (I think) major league catcher; that's not a crime. Thr crime was deploying him as a first-baseman when better options were available (cf: multiple HSC columns). That was Tracy's crime, not Phillips'. I'm with Izzy above and wish him well. (I'm saving up all my ill-will for Tracy.)
2006-01-05 12:53:24
10.   Winthrop
ESPN rumor central:

"Jan 5 - The Red Sox have talked to the Dodgers and A's about a three-way deal for David Wells, The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox would receive a corner outfielder from the Dodgers and a player from Oakland, the A's would get prospects, and the Dodgers would land Wells."

HSC to A's? I can only hope.

2006-01-05 12:54:29
11.   Winthrop
Also, the Dodgers have a corner outfielder that someone wants??!! Besides JD Drew, who?
2006-01-05 12:55:52
12.   D4P
9
I'm sure J-Phil appreciates your propathy.
2006-01-05 12:56:17
13.   regfairfield
Werth, Cruz? This is David Wells we're talking about.
2006-01-05 12:57:49
14.   Steve
Repko! Repko!
2006-01-05 13:01:13
15.   Winthrop
12 - I think of it as neutro-pathy".
2006-01-05 13:12:18
16.   Marty
I will miss Phillips' "Chariots of Fire" running style though.
2006-01-05 13:47:35
17.   Blu2
From what I've read, most minor league clubs are independently owned, few if any these days are owned by a major league organization. The majors have 'working agreements' with them, which is why a club can be a 'Dodger" farm team one year and a 'Padre' team the next. The majors assign players they own to the minor teams and pay their salary. The minor team is responsible for finding and paying other players to fill out their rosters. The major team can 'call up' a player they own to the bigs, but they have to buy non-owned players they want from the minors. I'm sure you all remember instances wherein the big club bought a player from the minors or sold a player to them. Don't see how it could work any other way.
2006-01-05 13:47:43
18.   GoBears
Gee, thanks a lot, Marty. Now I'm going to have that movie theme in my head all day. I know you're bitter about $C's loss last night, but sheesh!
2006-01-05 13:51:52
19.   jasonungar05
i didn't really notice this before, but this was on MLB.com:

The Mets, Dodgers and Devil Rays had been moving toward a deal that would have sent Seo, Kaz Matsui and money from the Mets to the Devil Rays, Baez to the Mets, prospects from the Dodgers to the Devil Rays and unknown quantities to the Dodgers. But the Dodgers pulled out of that deal because they prefered to retain the prospects the Devil Rays sought.

That three-club possibility developed only after the Mets and Dodgers had essentially agreed on the exchange they executed on Wednesday

2006-01-05 13:54:29
20.   the count
I saw Phillips in spring training last season when he was still with the Mets, and the reports about his speed are very true. He's dragging a piano out there. Phillips seems like a good guy and I hope he makes an MLB roster somewhere. I do think he would make an adequate backup catcher - I would venture to say that he is better than Alomar.
2006-01-05 13:57:53
21.   MartinBillingsley31
19
I wonder if huff was part of what was coming to the dodgers?

I wonder if we could get huff for houlton aybar choi.

2006-01-05 14:06:51
22.   Marty
18 LOL. But I'm over my bitterness. After all, tomorrow is another day :)
2006-01-05 14:10:28
23.   natepurcell
re 21

we are not going to guve up players the GM thinks are spare parts for something good.

it took sanchez, who we all believed was going to be our set up guy for a decent pitcher.

2006-01-05 14:19:19
24.   LAT
21. You must be tough when it comes time to buy a new car. "I'll take that 2006 Porche for $5,000." :-)
2006-01-05 14:21:38
25.   LAT
Unlike me, you probably know how to spell "Porsche." Duh!
2006-01-05 14:39:11
26.   natepurcell
wow. apparently john sickels made a 50/50 list of his top 50 pitchers and positional players that are prospects.... and luke hochevar was #14 on the pitchers list.

PLEASE SIGN HIM DODGERS :(

2006-01-05 14:44:16
27.   regfairfield
26 Really, if Tomko is worth 4.5 million, how is Hochevar not worth 2.3?
2006-01-05 14:55:16
28.   Steve
27 -- That's really this issue in a nutshell.
2006-01-05 15:04:19
29.   willhite
27 -

Tomko has won 81 games in his ML career. That puts him 81 ahead of Hochevar. Granted there are many ways to analyze the worth of a player, but Tomko has actually won more games than he has lost.

Furthermore, his lifetime record (W-L) is almost identical to Lowe's (84-74) and is 25 wins better than Penny's. He also has a better winning pct than Penny (56-53), OP (52-51) and Weaver (78-87).

Some might say that winning and losing is to a great extent due to the support the pitcher has behind him. Others might argue that some pitchers only pitch well enough to win so stats aren't that important.

In any case, I would not pay 2.3 million for Hochevar, especially since no one will next year either. We have Boras over a small to medium size barrel.

I'm very happy that Ned has not traded away our prospects, but I also think we need to be careful not to consider their careers as already etched in HOF stone. After all, most of the guys we spend our time drooling over have never played a major league game.

2006-01-05 15:06:29
30.   MartinBillingsley31
The reason why i said those players for huff is because tampa doesn't have money to take on lowe perez penny contracts, altho i guess ned could send money with one of them.

Choi is a spare part?, i thought all of you here consider him a god.

Anyways what would it take to get huff, give me a few deals if you would?

2006-01-05 15:11:37
31.   Bob Timmermann
The worship of Choi as a god has been prohibited by Congressional acts. Some think that this might not hold up to 1st Amendment scrutiny. However, Choi worship is somewhat like Santeria, so you can never tell.
2006-01-05 15:11:54
32.   Mark
You don't pay 2.3 million for pitching prospects. Period.
2006-01-05 15:19:30
33.   sanchez101
32. The Cubs dont regret giving Prior $10 million. The Tigers paid Verlander $3.1 million, and Cleveland gave Sowers $2.5 million. The Dodgers paid Billingsley $1.4 million and Elbert $1.5, and their were both three years younger than Hochevar. Some guys are worth big money, some are not. By all accounts, Hochevar was a upper first round talent who is probably worth ~$2 million.
2006-01-05 15:26:33
34.   Mark
33 Do you think Oakland regrets giving Todd Van Poppel $500k in 1991? Hochevar could be good. He could be terrible. Instead of spending 2.3 million to find out which, why don't we put that money toward the big league roster?
2006-01-05 15:27:42
35.   Steve
But you pay Dan Kolb two million and Ryan Franklin, the man who will finally replace Paul Abbott in the Phillies rotation, two point six?

Sign the man.

2006-01-05 15:28:05
36.   regfairfield
32 In one case we have Brett Tomko. A pitcher who we know, that if we get lucky, willl be average. More than likely, he'll be slightly below average. This player got paid 8.6 million dollars.

On the other hand, we have Hochevar. Is there less than a 4 to 1 shot he's better than Tomko? That's basically the issue here. If you believe that Hochevar has less than a 25% chance to be better than Tomko, then no, he's not worth it. At least, this is the simple version.

Likely, it's even less than 25%, because we'd control Hochevar for six years, rather than the two we'd control Tomko for.

You also have to consider the odds that he'll be better than Tomko, and contribute that into the expected value, along with what kind of contribution he could make if he's slightly worse, but that would require things like calculating the dollar value of a run over replacement and the odds that Hochevar has of obtaining certain totals, far out of my scope here. For now, just consider the question posed above.

2006-01-05 15:28:44
37.   natepurcell
Choi is a spare part?, i thought all of you here consider him a god.

i said in the eyes of the GM. i dont think choi is a spare part, but its obvious that colletti thinks so.

also, the drays would want really legit prospects- like laroche, like broxton, like martin for huff.

2006-01-05 15:31:11
38.   Mark
36 Look, I have never advocated signing Tomko, and I still think he's a waste of money. He's likely the next Erickson. With the money Boras is asking for (and you know he'll be looking for a way to get even more money), why don't we start comparing Hochevar to more established big-money pitchers? Are we confident that Hochevar can outperform Derek Lowe?
2006-01-05 15:38:39
39.   willhite
38 -

How do you analyze performance? Lowe's lifetime record is 84-74. Tomko's is 81-73.

Erickson was a disaster but he was way past his prime by the time we got him. Not a fair comparison.

2006-01-05 15:40:43
40.   MartinBillingsley31
37

Then to hell with huff if thats the price.

2006-01-05 15:45:01
41.   natepurcell
re 40

of course the price is going to be ridiculously high. the drays have been well known for asking for obscene amount of talent in return for thier pieces they dont even want.

hell, they were asking for aaron heilman for danny fricken baez... come on drays.

2006-01-05 15:48:36
42.   CanuckDodger
The Dodgers offered Hochevar close to $3 million to sign, so obviously AT THAT TIME they thought he was worth more than $2.3 million. But now the Dodgers wouldn't throw him a dollar if he were begging in the gutter, which he just might be, before long, with Matt Harrington. Hochevar not only rejected the $3 million after initially accepting it, he accused Logan White of conspiring with an agent to rip him off. That makes Hochevar a head case. The Dodgers now don't want Hochevar at any price, any more than they want Milton Bradley.
2006-01-05 15:52:47
43.   natepurcell
canuck, what do you think of the seo for duaner trade?
2006-01-05 15:53:59
44.   MartinBillingsley31
Anyone ever look at the indians depth chart?
They have power at just about every position plus just about every one of their backups, the team is loaded with power.
They look thin on pitching.

It'd be nice if we could get 1b hafner from them and move nomar to lf.

But then again would we have to offer billingsley laroche guzman martin broxton, probably.

2006-01-05 15:54:10
45.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
30 If my lamenting that a kid with obvious talent can't get a fair shot means I think he's a god, then I'm guilty as charged.

Under those terms, I think many on this site will worship alongside me. It's sad that our prayers will go unanswered.

2006-01-05 15:59:52
46.   MartinBillingsley31
If ned would just go with the choi/seanz platoon at 1b, move nomar to lf and give cruz cf or rf, drew cf or rf (screw lofton) we would be done, play ball.
2006-01-05 16:02:25
47.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
45 Apparently my New Year's resolution was to write really awkward sentences. Here's hoping that, like my other resolutions, the half-life on this one is about a week.
2006-01-05 16:06:10
48.   CanuckDodger
43 -- I like the Seo trade. You must have missed my post at the Fanhome board before the trade was official.
2006-01-05 16:09:59
49.   natepurcell
I like the Seo trade. You must have missed my post at the Fanhome board before the trade was official

i probably did, what thread was it in.. page? i would like to read it. i value your opinion a lot.

2006-01-05 16:12:43
50.   Eric Enders
I believe the current congress has passed legislation saying that if you're going to worship a Korean god, it has to be Sun Myung Moon.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-05 16:24:33
51.   Bob Timmermann
50
I read that in the Washington Times, but I wasn't sure of its accuracy.
2006-01-05 16:34:54
52.   CanuckDodger
49 -- My post about the Seo trade is on page 1058 of the Rumors thread at Fanhome.
2006-01-05 17:01:37
53.   Steve
Moon is a righty with strange arm angles.
2006-01-05 17:16:40
54.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 42

Hochevar seems awfully immature, but surely he deserves something of a pass due to his youth. I can understand Logan White's fury, but I think we should still make a strong effort to sign Hochevar.

WWSH

2006-01-05 19:40:59
55.   Steve
When did "durable" become the new "scrappy?" In other words, a replacement adjective for "sucks?"
2006-01-05 20:11:37
56.   dsfan
Somone above wrote that "by all accounts" Hochevar was deemed an upper first-round talent.

Not true. ESPN's Stark quoted a scout who said Hochevar is hugely over-rated and has a ticking-bomb delivery.

2006-01-05 20:33:57
57.   natepurcell
Not true. ESPN's Stark quoted a scout who said Hochevar is hugely over-rated and has a ticking-bomb delivery.

uhh, can you find a link for me. somehow, i dont think thats true.

2006-01-05 21:06:32
58.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm no scout, but Hochevar is clearly overrated. His career college W/L record is 10-7.
2006-01-05 21:15:43
59.   Steve
I guess we know what Pat Gillick would have done. Icky.
2006-01-05 22:11:37
60.   Dave
Did you guys see that Chin-feng Chen signed to play in Taiwan? Kind of a nice story. I'm happy for him finding a place where he will really be valued. Had to have been a tough decision and something of a disappointment.

http://tinyurl.com/88gle

2006-01-05 22:55:16
61.   dsfan
Nate,

What, did you really think I just made up what Jayson Stark wrote about Luke Hochevar?

Read it and weep, from Stark's June 9th rumblings-grumblings column:

RHP Luke Hochevar (Dodgers, at No. 40): "He fell big-time, but he deserved to fall. This kid is seriously overrated. He's a fourth starter – at best. And if you ask me, looking at his arm action, he's going to blow out."

That's Stark quoting a scout.

2006-01-05 23:41:54
62.   GoBears
61 I should let Nate defend himself, but I interpreted his skepticism to be about the truth of the evaluation (the "ticking-bomb" thing), not the existence of the report. Stark might have written it, and the scout might have said it, but that doesn't make it so. Nonetheless, your point was simply that there are those who doubt Hochevar's talent, and the quote shows that there IS at least one such (anonymous) soul.

Personally, I find Stark's columns worse than useless. They're useless and ridiculously long. I gather that he has terrific connections, but I don't think he knows anything at all about how to judge talent. Neyer's is a lonely voice at ESPN. Only Gammons occasionally nods in the direction of sabermetrics (and Brian Kenny on ESPNews).

2006-01-05 23:56:57
63.   Andrew Shimmin
A very famous journalist once told me that 80% of unsourced quotes are made up.
2006-01-06 06:57:05
64.   Sushirabbit
Is Jon very famous? Wow, hadn't realized he'd gotten that famous! ;-)

Uh, Hochevar does pitch in the SEC and was SEC pitcher of the year. He may wish he'd played basketball like his Dad, but his record for the year is pretty good. I'd say his delivery is pretty smooth and he has a pretty good change with his fastball. I think he has a sinker that he uses every once in awhile, but it's not really good. He did win the Clemens award in 2005. The guy's a stud, and I will be very surprised if he doesn't do well right away-- I'm not sure I'd start him in Vegas--maybe I don't know.

Given all that I can see why the Dodger's would take a pass given his head-case behavior.

2006-01-06 09:18:53
65.   Andrew Shimmin
64- You can't trick me in to revealing my source, Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald; that's your name, isn't it? We brave truth-tellers don't all roll over so easy as Judy did.
2006-01-06 09:29:08
66.   Jon Weisman
By the way, I don't at all think that most unsourced quotes are made up. I think many end up being inaccurate or proven false. Many are speculation and of no long-term (or maybe even short-term) value. Some are even harmful.

But I don't think many are made up at all. That's a big difference.

2006-01-06 09:43:54
67.   Andrew Shimmin
For the record, I don't believe it, either. I was trying to be ironic. An unsouced quote questioning the credibility of unsourced quotes? It was funnier in my head, I guess.
2006-01-06 10:21:51
68.   Jon Weisman
Oh, I get it now. I was slow on that one.

Ninety percent of blogging is half-mental.

2006-01-06 10:25:39
69.   molokai
Justin Upton just signed with Diamondbacks giving them an incredible 1-5 now with Upton/Drew/Quentin/Young/Jackson. 2007 could be the beginning of an incredible offense in Arizona and the most exciting young team in baseball even with Justin Upton not appearing until 2008. The NL West may be the worse in baseball right now but by 2008 when
Ian Stewart / Turko / Drew / Jackson / Young / Quentin / LaRoche / Nippert / Guzman / Kemp / Upton / Billingsly / Martin / Cain are impact players the West will be one of the best. San Diego is headed for the basement and Petco will become a ghost town.
2006-01-06 11:47:50
70.   dzzrtRatt
It's not so much that the anonymous/unsourced quotes are made up; it's that they are unaccountable.

The myth is: Reporters are told things not-for-attribution because the anonymous source is a noble whistleblower with a troubled conscience who wants the public to know what's going on, but fears that powerful people will do them in. In this scenario, everyone is just so doggone brave it makes you shed a patriotic tear. The reality is usually much scummier.

2006-01-06 12:21:45
71.   natepurcell
so dsfan, i didnt mean to make you think i doubted the validity that there was a quote like that in a jayson stark column, i was just skpetical that a scout would call hochevar's delivery a ticking time bomb. Basically because of logan white and his drafting philsophies on pitchers. he wont ever take a pitcher with a high pick if he has a max effort delivery with out of whack mechanics. He is all about fluidity and good mechanics.

considering hoch was our first overall pick in the 2005 draft, i can only assume his mechanics and delivery are up to par with white's standards.

I think he has a sinker that he uses every once in awhile, but it's not really good.

actually, in the summer of 2003 while pitching for team USA, luke picked up the 2 seam sinker and fell in love with it. he throws it a ton now, especially in his last year, he throws it between 89-93 and the movement on it makes it a plus pitch. his other plus pitch is his slider. he also throws a good little curve and a change up.

the thought process is that he still has some projectability left and he could even add a little bit more mph to his fb. maybe get it to the 92-95 kevin brown sinker type territory.

2006-01-06 16:24:41
72.   molokai
Just got the John Sickels top 50/50 list for hitters and pitchers. I can't list what number they are but John said I could list what Dodgers were on the list in order of appearance.
Hitters:
JdT AKA Joel Guzman
Andy LaRoche
Russ Martin
Blake DeWitt

Arizona had 5 hitters make the top 50, the most on the list. Dodgers and Angels were tied with 2nd with 4.

Pitchers:
Billingsly
Broxton
Elbert

Twins, Rangers, and Marlins had 4 pitchers make the list. We were tied for 2nd with 3 with the RedSox and Blue Jays.

2006-01-06 16:48:24
73.   molokai
JtD
2006-01-06 16:55:51
74.   Midwest Blue
M - I was ready to adopt "Joel Da Terminator".

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